The stories you have told me – about online dating. Oh. My. Goodness. The major problem as I see it, is not only that online, anyone can be anything they want to be, but that people are unaware of the invisible tentacles of attachment. In translation, that means that the moment you see a photo and start reading their profile, not only do your neurons form a schema about them which can be resistant to reality, but that your phantasy starts to create a love story of what will happen – and in phantasy, everything works out just perfectly. Right?
A ‘relationship’, or relay ship, means a two-way fair game of energy tennis, that floats. And you don’t need me to tell you, that lots of relationships are anything but. Socially, we are conditioned to believe that being single is the least favoured position, when being in a terrible relationship really is. Anyone with wisdom and experience knows, that being comfortable in your own skin and not looking outward for others’ approval or permission is the goal – with or without a mate. With the writings of the psychoanalyst Winnicott in mind, the real marker of maturity is the capacity to live alone – happily. Or in the language of Maslow, to self-actualise.
It’s all very simple really, only as with most things in life, the complex is often preferred to the simple – or rather, obscures it. And a mate has the benefit of distraction. But before surfing your online preferences or entering into any relationship with someone else, looking for your version of love, the smart choice to make really, is to choose yourself. That doesn’t mean bringing down the hatches and shutting everyone else out at a safe distance. Or, if you are already in a relationship to finish it. It means to begin along the path to discover yourself. Accept what you find. Heal the wounds and do as Freud intended ‘the work’. Know and accept yourself at the deepest level of who you really are, and you will discover an authentic love that lasts.